Home Politics Shashi Tharoor to Kanhaiya Kumar: How these 'progressive men' are men first, 'progressive' later

Shashi Tharoor to Kanhaiya Kumar: How these ‘progressive men’ are men first, ‘progressive’ later

The feminist icons who speak of smashing patriarchy like to indulge in casual sexism.

It is peddled as a truth universally acknowledged that men on the ‘left’ are progressive by default. They often like to portray themselves as patron saints of feminism and like to talk about how they’d like to smash patriarchy, especially the Brahmin kinds.

They are the ones who say they believe in ‘consent’ and hence often times women stay quiet on sexual assault by ‘progressive’ men from Left. Sometimes because they can’t wrap their heads around the fact that a ‘progressive’ man just violated them and sometimes because they’d rather let the man get away so as to not damage the ‘bigger cause‘. Men from the Left also have women going out of their way to shield them from allegations of sexual assault.

Men from the Left are often believed to be progressive. They are perceived to be the ones who believe in equal rights for women and these days often like to identify themselves as LGBTQI allies. They will often use pronouns in their Twitter bios to come across as ‘liberals’.

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Of the ‘Liberal’ and ‘progressive’ men, two are often hailed these days as ideals and men to look up to. One is Communist Party of India leader Kanhaiya Kumar, with questionable quality PhD, and other is senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.

Kanhaiya Kumar these days is hailed as the next best orator to come out of Bihar after Lalu Prasad Yadav. Kanhaiya is the ‘perfect’ orator.

It is a different thing that Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD didn’t give Kanhaiya a ticket to contest 2019 general elections because he was afraid Kanhaiya may outshine his offsprings who are yet to make any mark in mainstream politics.

Kanhaiya Kumar also often likes to demand ‘azadi’ from patriarchy. Except, last week, in a debate with BJP leader on Rajdeep Sardesai’s show on India Today, Kanhaiya asked the BJP leader whether he has worn chudiyan (bangles). ‘Haath mein chudiyan pehenna‘ is often used by people to refer to people who are not ‘strong enough’ to do work because they have worn bangles (like women).

The feminist youth icon likes to indulge in casual sexism.

Another icon of ‘progressive’ men is Shashi Tharoor. Last night, on a debate, he referred to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as ‘eunuch’ because he wants power without responsibility. Tharoor later apologised and said that he used a line from British politics said by British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin who had actually used the term ‘harlot’ (prostitute) in place of ‘eunuchs’.

His transphobic comment comes across as an insult to the trans community. Moreover, one could argue that calling eunuchs as people who have power without responsibility is far from truth since eunuchs in India are quite the opposite and are far too marginalised to be powerful, with or without responsibility. As someone who takes immense pride in his vocabulary, surely Tharoor knew his comments were misogynist and transphobic. He still chose to use the term to refer to a political rival as ‘unmanly’. Because if you’re not a ‘man enough’, you are weak, or as Tharoor put it, someone who likes ‘power without responsibility’.

This just goes out to show that every ‘progressive man’ is man first.

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